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Tunisia: Fascinating facts about country with 4th most important city in the Islamic world

Tunisia, officially the Tunisian Republic, is the northernmost country in Africa and borders Algeria, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.

The country has a land area of 63,170 square miles and it’s population is approximately 11.5 million.

The country whose capital city is Tunis, boasts of Ancient ruins and religious quarters, alongside its magnificent beaches.

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Here are more facts about Tunisia;

It has the 4th most important city in the Muslim world

Mecca in South Arabia is the first largest important city in the Muslim world. Photo courtesy

In the Muslim world there are several cities that really matter a lot to them and they honour them due to their vital role in their religion.

One of the biggest and most important city is Mecca in South Arabia. Mecca is followed by Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem and Kairouan in Tunisia.

Kairouan was established in 670 AD by Uqba Ibn Nafi and has the holy mosque of Ugba which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In this city, people get chance to interact and perform Islamic religious activities such as scholarships and Islamic teachings.

People live underground

In Matmata people still live in underground houses. Photo courtesy

In Matmata, a small town in Tunisia that is inhabited by the aboriginal Berber-speaking people, people live underground.

These people built this underground houses in the last with an aim of escaping the hot scorching sun due to the Sahara desert. The tradition has continued in Matmata even despite other towns switching to modern house that are above the ground.

The underground houses were built by digging large open holes in the ground which would have curved walls.

Interestingly, one underground house can host 5-9 families.


Many Hollywood films have been shot around this beautiful amphitheater. Photo courtesy

Tunisia has one of the world’s largest amphitheater. El Jem, an ancient amphitheater has continued being preserved since the times of the Roman empires. It is one of the best preserved ruins in the world.

This amphitheater was built was built in 238 AD. During this time, Tunisia was part of the Roman province in Africa.

El Jam has a capacity of 35,000 people who would got a chance to seat and spectate their special events.

El Jam is among the world’s largest amphitheaters.

In Tunisia, Red is the colour of mourning

Unlike in most countries where black is the colour of mourning, in Tunisia, South Africa and Ghana red is the symbol for mourning.

Not only these countries have used different colours from black but also countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, and Iran where they use purple, yellow, and blue respectively.


Arabic is the official language in Tunisia and it’s a pluricentric language (a language with several standard versions). The most used is Tounsi which is Tunisian Arabic that is slightly different to the Standard Arabic.

Berber languages are minority in Tunisia and are a branch of the Afroasiatic family of languages spoken by only 1% of Tunisians.

Foreign languages such as French, English, and Italian are also spoken in the country. Most of the young people speak English as they learn in schools while French and Italian are spoken by older people.

A good number if Tunisians also speak Turkish.


Tunisia’s population is dominated by Arabs making Islamic religion take over 99% of the population.

The rest of the percentage is covered by Christians, Jewish and Baha’i.

In all cities of Tunisia there are mosques where Muslims meet for prayers. Tunisia is also home to world’s fourth most important city in the Muslim world, the Kairouan.

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Fans of Star Wars have flocked to Tunisia to spot numerous filmmaking sites among them being the famous Amphitheater of El Jem in the city of El Djem built around 238 AD.

Not only star was but lots of films have been filmed around this amphitheater.

Matmata, where people still live underground is also among major filming sites. Actually two of Call of Duty Finest Hour’s missions were shot in the outskirts of Matmata.

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